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Climate, coffee and conversations drive Collingwood content creator

People of Collingwood: Julie Kaden, entrepreneur and climate-change activist
2021-10-01 POCKaden JO-001
Julie Kaden is a Collingwood content creator and climate-change activist.

A local entrepreneur is hoping like-minded residents will come for a sip and help solve the world’s climate-change woes at an event at Sidelaunch Brewery this month.

For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we spoke with Julie Kaden, 40, content creator and climate-change activist.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I was born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga.

I lived in Toronto again when I went to school for film and broadcasting.

I moved to Collingwood in 2004, just after I graduated.

Q: What brought you to Collingwood?

A: My mom moved here when I moved away for school.

My boyfriend also got his first job out of school here in Collingwood.

I followed them. The boyfriend became my husband, and now we have two kids. We love living here.

For a couple of years I worked at Rogers Television doing different production and hosting jobs. I got to meet a bunch of cool people around Simcoe County which helped me feel like this was a place I could call home.

I’ve always been super passionate about the outdoors and being in nature.

While there are some conveniences of the city that I miss, it’s not so far away that I can’t go down for a visit.

I also worked at Blue Mountain Resort for about 12 years in their marketing department. I grew my career there.

I’m now self-employed, since 2019. My business is called J Stroke where I write content, do some hosting with some videos and script work here and there. That keeps my plate full.

Q: What made you want to get involved in Protect our Winters?

A: Protect our Winters was initially an American organization but it came to Canada several years ago. It’s a national non-profit organization. Its mission is to turn people’s passion for the outdoors into purpose against climate change.

I’m the Collingwood chapter lead.

With my work in the ski industry at Blue Mountain and some of my clients who work in the ski industry I’ve been able to stay connected with it and have seen trends in weather and the shortening of seasons.

There’s not as much snow on the mountain. It’s worrisome. I have two kids and I’m concerned about their future.

It’s not just about winter and it’s not just about playing. It’s about the far-reaching ramifications of climate change we’re seeing today in the form of natural disasters and extreme weather patterns. They’ll only increase in frequency if we don’t take action now.

Q: You have an event coming up on Oct. 20. Can you tell me a bit about your event?

A: We’re having a meeting on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at Sidelaunch Brewery.

It’s our first in-person chapter meeting. Our chapter officially launched in early 2020. We had plans for an in-person meeting until COVID-19 happened. We’ve had some virtual events and meetings with moderate success. We’re hoping people will come out. Everyone is welcome to come and learn more about the organization and how they can get involved at a grassroots level.

It’s informal and fun, part social and part informational.

Q: Do you have any other hobbies?

A: I like to run. I’m out on the trails throughout Collingwood. I’m not very fast. (laughs) I’m taking part in my first 10-kilometre event in October in Toronto.

I also volunteer as the co-host of the Collingwood Girly Book Club. It’s a monthly book club with regional chapters. I love to read.

I love live music. It fills my soul.

I’m also always on the hunt for a really good cup of coffee. (laughs)

Q: What’s your favourite book?

A: I just finished a book and it’s at the top of my list of most impactful and powerful reads.

It’s called From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle. It was a Canada Reads book. It’s a memoir, and I think everyone should read it.

I also really like A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. It’s another memoir. I read a lot of memoirs, but I read all different genres; historical fiction being one of my favourites.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like people in Collingwood to know about you?

A: I love meeting people and connecting with people in our community. I hope I can continue to do that through my volunteer efforts.

For our feature People of Collingwood, we’ll be speaking with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature will run on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 12 years of experience to her role as regional reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood, County of Simcoe and education.
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